Armoured train

An armoured train is a railway train protected with armour. Armoured trains usually include railroad cars armed with artillery and machine guns. They were mostly used during the late 19th and early 20th century, when they offered an innovative way to quickly move large amounts of firepower. Most countries discontinued their use – road vehicles became much more powerful and offered more flexibility, and train tracks proved too vulnerable to sabotage as well as to attacks from the air. However, the Russian Federation used improvised armoured trains in the Second Chechen War of 1999–2009.

Pancierovy vlak-Zvolen
The 'Hurban' Armoured train located in Zvolen, Slovakia. It is not the original, but a replica used in a film. Only two preserved original cars exist; they are stored nearby in the railway repair shops at Zvolen, where they were produced in 1944

Design and equipment

Pociag pancerny Danuta z 1939 r
A Polish armoured train, the Danuta, in 1939. From the left: artillery wagon, infantry assault wagon, armoured locomotive, artillery wagon
Drezyna pancerna typu TKS
A TKS tankette used as an armoured reconnaissance draisine, an attempt to overcome one of the inflexibilities of the armoured train - being limited to the track

The rail cars on an armoured train were designed for many tasks. Typical roles included:

  • Artillery - fielding a mixture of guns, machine guns and rocket launchers. See also railway guns.
  • Infantry - designed to carry infantry units, may also mount machine guns.
  • Machine gun - dedicated to machine guns.
  • Anti-aircraft - equipped with anti-aircraft weapons.
  • Command - similar to infantry wagons, but designed to be a train command centre
  • Anti-tank - equipped with anti-tank guns, usually in a tank gun turret
  • Platform - unarmoured, used for any purpose from the transport of ammunition or vehicles, through track repair or derailing protection to railroad ploughs for track destruction.
  • Troop sleepers
  • The German Wehrmacht would sometimes put a Fremdgerät, such as a captured French Somua S-35 or Czech PzKpfw 38(t) light tank, or Panzer II light tank on a flatbed car which could be quickly offloaded by means of a ramp and used away from the range of the main railway line to chase down enemy partisans
  • Missile transport - the USSR had railway-based RT-23 Molodets ICBMs by the late 1980s (to reduce the chances of a first strike succeeding in destroying the launchers for a retaliatory strike). The US at one time proposed having a railway-based system for the MX Missile program but this never got past the planning stage

Different types of armour were used to protect from attack by tanks. In addition to various metal plates, concrete and sandbags were used in some cases for improvised armoured trains.

Armoured trains were sometimes escorted by a kind of rail-tank called a draisine. One such example was the 'Littorina' armoured trolley which had a cab in the front and rear, each with a control set so it could be driven down the tracks in either direction. Littorina mounted two dual 7.92mm MG13 machine gun turrets from Panzer I light tanks.



Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper - 18610518 - p1 - Railroad Battery
An 1861 "Railroad battery" used to protect workers during the American Civil War
CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889-108
An armoured CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889 locomotive derailed on 12 October 1899 during the first engagement of the Second Boer War at Kraaipan

Armoured trains saw use during the 19th century in the American Civil War (1861–1865), the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), the First and Second Boer Wars (1880–1881 and 1899–1902). During the Second Boer War, Winston Churchill, then a war-correspondent, was travelling aboard an armoured train on 15 November 1899, when a Boer commando led by General Louis Botha ambushed the train. The Boers captured Churchill and many of the train's contingent, but many others escaped, including wounded soldiers who had been carried on the train's engine.[1]

Early in the 20th century, Russia used armoured trains during the Russo-Japanese War.[2] Armoured trains went on to see use during the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) and World War I (1914–1918). The most intensive use of armoured trains was during the Russian Civil War (1918–1920). The Spanish Civil War saw a little use of armoured trains, though World War II (1939–1945) saw more. The French used them during the First Indochina War (1946–1954), and a number of countries had armoured trains during the Cold War. The last combat use appears to have been during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

American Civil War

The most successful armoured train was a single car built to defend the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. The railroad had been attacked by southern forces to prevent transport of Union soldiers to the front; and snipers were discouraging men attempting to repair the damage. Baldwin Locomotive Works modified a baggage car in late April 1861. A 24-pounder howitzer was placed on a swivel mount at the opposite end of the car from the pushing locomotive. The sides of the car were sheathed with 2.5-inch (6.4 cm) oak planks covered with 0.5-inch (1.3 cm) boiler plate. The end of the car around the howitzer was fitted with hinged 2-foot (61 cm) panels which could be temporarily lifted to aim and fire the howitzer and then lowered to protect the crew of six men loading the howitzer with grapeshot or canister shot. The remainder of the car contained fifty ports for riflemen. The car was effective for its original purpose, but vulnerability to artillery rendered such cars of comparatively little use during later stages of the war. In August 1864, a Confederate raiding party disabled a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad locomotive pushing an armoured train; and then piled tires around the armoured car and set them afire.[3]


In 1884 Charles Gervaise Boxall (1852–1914), a Brighton-born solicitor and officer in the 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers, published The Armoured Train for Coast Defence in Great Britain, outlining a new way to employ heavy artillery. In 1894, when he had become commanding officer of the 1st Sussex AV, railway workers among the volunteers of No 6 Garrison Company manned an armoured train constructed in the workshops of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (of which the unit's Honorary Colonel, Sir Julian Goldsmid, was a director).[4][5][6]

Second Boer War

The British Army employed armoured trains during the Second Boer War, most famously a train that was extemporised in the railway workshops at Ladysmith just before the siege was closed round the town. On 15 November 1899 it left the town on reconnaissance manned by a company of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers under the command of Captain Aylmer Haldane, a company of volunteers of the Durban Light Infantry, and a 7-pounder mountain gun manned by sailors from HMS Tartar. Winston Churchill accompanied the mission as a war correspondent. The train was ambushed and part-derailed, and Haldane, Churchill and some 70 of the troops were captured after a fire-fight, although the locomotive got away with the wounded.[7][8][9]Recalling his experience in My Early Life, Churchill wrote "Nothing looks more formidable and impressive than an armoured train; but nothing is in fact more vulnerable and helpless. It was only necessary to blow up a bridge of culvert to leave the monster stranded, far from home and help, at the mercy of the enemy". [10]

World War I

Французская подвижная батарея (1914)
French mobile artillery battery (1914)
Wagon pancerny s
An Austro-Hungarian armoured train from 1915

During World War I Russia used a mix of light and heavy armoured trains. The heavy trains mounted 4.2 inch or 6 inch guns, the light trains were equipped with 7.62 mm guns.[2]

Austria-Hungary also fielded armoured trains against the Italians in World War I.

A Royal Navy armoured train from Britain, armed with four QF 6 inch naval guns and one QF 4 inch naval gun, was used in support of the British Expeditionary Force in the opening phase of the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914.[11] Two armoured trains were constructed at Crewe during 1915 for coast defence duties; one was based in Norfolk and one in Edinburgh to patrol rail routes on stretches of coast considered vulnerable to amphibious assault.[12]

Interwar years

The Bolshevik forces in the Russian civil war used a wide range of armoured trains.[13] Many were improvised by locals, others were constructed by naval engineers at the Putilov and Izhorskiy factories.[13] As a result, the trains ranged from little more than sandbagged flatbeds to the heavily armed and armoured trains produced by the naval engineers.[13] An attempt to standardise the design from October 1919 only had limited success.[13] By the end of the war the Bolshevik forces had 103 armoured trains of all types.[13]

Soomusrong nr 2 Valgas 1919
Estonian improvised armoured train in 1919 during the Estonian War of Independence.

The Czechoslovak Legion used heavily armed and armoured trains to control large lengths of the Trans-Siberian Railway (and of Russia itself) during the Russian Civil War at the end of World War I.[14]

Estonia built a total 13 armoured trains during the Estonian War of Independence, 6 on broad-gauge and 7 on narrow-gauge railways. The first three armoured trains with fully volunteer crews formed the backbone of the front in critical early stages of conflict. Carriages were former goods carriages and at first armor was limited to wood and sand, but later steel plating, machine guns, and cannons were added.[15]

Lithuania had three armoured trains, named after the Grand Dukes of Lithuania - Gediminas, Kęstutis and Algirdas. The armoured trains trains were used in a period of 1920 - 1935. The first of them - Gediminas, was used in Polish–Lithuanian War.[16]

Lietuvos šarvuotas traukinys Gediminas
Lithuanian armoured train Gediminas 3 with Lithuanian soldiers

After the First World War the use of armoured trains declined. They were used in China in the twenties and early thirties during the Chinese Civil War,[17] most notably by the warlord Zhang Zongchang, who employed refugee Russians to man them.

World War II

Smialy wagon altyleryjski
A typical Polish artillery car from 1939. Such cars were used in the trains Śmiały and Piłsudczyk

Poland used armoured trains extensively during the invasion of Poland. One observer noted that "Poland had only few armoured trains, but their officers and soldiers were fighting well. Again and again they were emerging from a cover in thick forests, disturbing German lines".[18] One under-appreciated aspect of so many Polish armoured trains being deployed during the Polish Defensive War in 1939 is that when German planes attacked the railroads, it was usually the tracks themselves. As late as September 17, three fresh divisions in the east were moved westward by train. On September 18, three more divisions followed.

Part of a 1943 Die Deutsche Wochenschau newsreel showing the (staged) use of a German armoured train

This in turn prompted Nazi Germany to reintroduce armoured trains into its own armies. Germany then used them to a small degree during World War II. However, they introduced significant designs of a versatile and well-equipped nature, including railcars which housed anti-aircraft gun turrets, or designed to load and unload tanks and railcars which had complete armour protection with a large concealed gun/howitzer. Germany also had fully armoured locomotives which were used on such trains.

During the Slovak National Uprising, the Slovak resistance used three armoured trains. The Hurban, Štefánik and Masaryk, which were built in the Zvolen railway factory, are preserved and can be seen near Zvolen Castle.

Bepo 094
A Russian WW II-era armoured train with antiaircraft gunners

The Soviets had a large number of armoured trains at the start of World War II but many were lost in 1941.[19] Trains built later in the war tended to be fitted with T-34 or KV series tank turrets.[19] Others were fitted as specialist anti-aircraft batteries.[19] A few were fitted as heavy artillery batteries often using guns taken from ships.[19]

Canada used an armoured train to patrol the Canadian National Railway along the Skeena River from Prince Rupert, British Columbia to the Pacific coast, against a possible Japanese seaborne raid. The train was equipped with a 75 mm gun, two Bofors 40 mm guns, and could accommodate a full infantry company. The No 1 Armoured Train entered service in June 1942 and was put into reserve in September 1943, to be dismantled in the following year.[20]

Twelve armoured trains were formed in Britain in 1940 as part of the preparations to face a German invasion; these were initially armed with QF 6 pounder 6 cwt Hotchkiss guns and six Bren Guns. They were operated by Royal Engineer crews and manned by Royal Armoured Corps troops. In late 1940 preparations began to hand the trains over to the Polish Army in the West, who operated them until 1942.[21] They continued in use in Scotland and were operated by the Home Guard until the last one was withdrawn in November 1944. A 6-pounder wagon from one of these trains is preserved at the Tank Museum.[22] A miniature armoured train ran on the 15-inch gauge Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.[23]

Japanese Imperial Army also utilized armored trains when they engaged Chinese NRA and CPC troops in Second Sino-Japanese War.

Later uses

RT-23 ICBM complex in Saint Petersburg museum
A RT-23 Molodets in the Saint Petersburg railway museum

In the First Indochina War, the French Union used the armoured and armed train La Rafale as both a cargo-carrier and a mobile surveillance unit.[24][25] In February 1951 the first Rafale was in service on the Saigon-Nha Trang line, Vietnam[26][27] while from 1947 to May 1952 the second one which was escorted by onboard Cambodian troops of the BSPP (Brigade de Surveillance de Phnom Penh) was used on the Phnom Penh-Battambang line, Cambodia.[28] In 1953 both trains were attacked by the Viet-Minh guerrillas who destroyed or mined stone bridges when passing by.[29]

Fulgencio Batista’s army operated an armoured train during the Cuban revolution though it was derailed and destroyed during the Battle of Santa Clara.

Facing the threat of Chinese cross-border raids during the Sino-Soviet split, the USSR developed armoured trains in the early 1970s to protect the Trans-Siberian Railway. According to different accounts, four or five trains were built. Every train included ten main battle tanks, two light amphibious tanks, several AA guns, as well as several armoured personnel carriers, supply vehicles and equipment for railway repairs. They were all mounted on open platforms or in special rail cars. Different parts of the train were protected with 5–20 mm thick armour. These trains were used by the Soviet Army to intimidate nationalist paramilitary units in 1990 during the early stages of the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[30][31]

Towards the end of the Cold War, both superpowers began to develop railway-based ICBMs mounted on armoured trains; the Soviets deployed the SS-24 missile in 1987, but budget costs and the changing international situation led to the cancellation of the programme, with all remaining railway-based missiles finally being deactivated in 2005.

An improvised armoured train named the "Krajina express" (Krajina ekspres) was used during the war in Croatia (part of the Yugoslav wars) of the early 1990s by the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (a self-proclaimed republic of Serbs living within Croatia that sought to remain in Yugoslavia). Composed of three fighting cars and three freight cars hooked to the front to protect it from mine blasts,[32] the train carried a M18 Hellcat with a 76 mm cannon, a 40 mm Bofors, a 20 mm cannon, twin 57 mm rocket launchers and a 120 mm mortar, plus several machine guns of between 12.7 and 7.62 mm.[33] During the siege of Bihac in 1994, it was attacked on a few occasions with antitank rocket-propelled grenades and 76 mm guns and hit by a 9K11 Malyutka missile, but the damage was minor, as most of the train was covered with thick sheets of rubber which caused the missile's warhead to explode too early to do any real damage.[32] The train was eventually destroyed by its own crew lest it fall into enemy hands during Operation Storm, the Croatian offensive which overran the Srpska Krajina. The Army of Republika Srpska operated a similar train that was ambushed and destroyed in October 1992 at the entrance to the town of Gradačac by Bosnian Muslim forces that included a T-55 tank. The wreckage was later converted into a museum.[34] The Croatian Army deployed a two-wagon armoured train built in Split with a shield composed of two plates, one 8 mm and the other 6 mm thick, with a 30-50 mm gap filled with sand between them. The vehicle was armed with 12.7 mm machine guns.[35]

One armoured train that remains in regular use is that of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, which the former received as a gift from the Soviet Union and the latter used heavily for state visits to China and Russia as he had a fear of flying.

Pro-Russian militants in the Donbass region of Ukraine were pictured operating a homemade armoured train in late 2015.[36]

Armoured tram

Armoured trams also existed, although apparently not purpose-built as some of the armoured trains. The just-formed Red Army used at least one armoured tram during the fighting for Moscow in the October Revolution in 1917.[37][38][39] The Slovak National Uprising, more well known for its armoured trains described above, also used at least one makeshift example.[40]

See also


  1. ^ Zaloga, Steven J; Bryan, Tony (2008). Armoured Trains. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-84603-242-4.
  2. ^ a b Zaloga, Steven J; Grandsen, James (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. Arms and Armour Press. p. 24. ISBN 0-85368-606-8.
  3. ^ Dome, Steam (1974). "A Civil War Iron Clad Car". Railroad History. The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. 130 (Spring 1974): 51–53.
  4. ^ Norman Litchfield & Ray Westlake, The Volunteer Artillery 1859–1908 (Their Lineage, Uniforms and Badges), Nottingham: Sherwood Press, 1982, ISBN 0-9508205-0-4, pp. 160–2.
  5. ^ "Shoreham Fort - The 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers". Shoreham Fort.
  6. ^ Boxall at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  7. ^ Gen Sir Aylmer Haldane, A Soldier's Saga, Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1948, pp. 139–46.
  8. ^ Rayne Kruger, Goodbye Dolly Gray, London: Cassell 1959/Pan 1974, ISBN 0-330-23861-2, pp. 104–5.
  9. ^ Thomas Pakenham, The Boer War, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979/abridged edition 1993, ISBN 0-297-83222-0, pp. 95–6.
  10. ^ Roy Jenkins, Churchill. A Biography, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2001, p. 52.
  11. ^ 1914: The Days of Hope, Lyn MacDonald, Penguin Books 1989 ISBN 0-14-011651-6
  12. ^ Bryan, Tim (2011), Railways in Wartime, Shire Books, ISBN 9780747810506 (p. 21)
  13. ^ a b c d e Zaloga, Steven J; Grandsen, James (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. Arms and Armour Press. pp. 30–33. ISBN 0-85368-606-8.
  14. ^ First World War - Willmott, H.P.; Dorling Kindersley, 2003, Page 251
  15. ^ Rosenthal, Reigo (28 September 2012). "Armoured trains in Estonian War of Independence". Estonica. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  16. ^ Lietuvos kariuomenės šarvuotieji traukiniai 1920–1940 m. [Armoured trains of the Lithuanian Army 1920-1940] (PDF) (in Lithuanian). Vytauto Didžiojo karo muziejus. 2016. ISBN 978-609-412-089-3.
  17. ^ "Armored Car Like Oil Tanker Used by Chinese" Popular Mechanics, March 1930
  18. ^ Wie das Gesetz es befahl - Karschkes, Helmut, DVG Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, ISBN 3-920722-69-8
  19. ^ a b c d Zaloga, Steven J; Grandsen, James (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. Arms and Armour Press. pp. 200–205. ISBN 0-85368-606-8.
  20. ^ Rowse, Sue Harper (2005), In Times of War: Prince Rupert 1939-1945 ISBN 978-1411639270 (pp. 82-84)
  21. ^ Balfour, G 1981. The Armoured Train: its development and usage. Batsford
  22. ^ "Railway Wagon 21 Ton Mineral (E1987.159)".
  23. ^ "The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway".
  24. ^ Le 5e Régiment du Génie d'hier et d'aujourd'hui : l'aventure des Sapeurs de chemins de fer, Lavauzelle, 1997, p. 73 (in French)
  25. ^ L’audace du rail : les trains blindés du Sud-Annam in Revue historique des armées #234, Alexis Neviaski, 2004, quoted in the French Defense Ministry archives Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ French Defense Ministry archives ECPAD website Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ French Defense Ministry archives ECPAD website Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ French Defense Ministry archives ECPAD website Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ French Defense Ministry archives ECPAD website Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Sovetskaja Armija v gody "cholodnoj vojny" : (1945–1991) - Fes·kov, Vitalij I; Kalašnikov, Konstantin A; Golikov, Valerij I; Tomsk Izdat. Tomskogo University. 2004, Page 246- ISBN 5-7511-1819-7
  31. ^ Last armored trains of the Soviet Army Archived May 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (in Cyrillic/Russian language) - Markovian, Victor; Мир оружия, 9/2005
  32. ^ a b "Krajina Express" enhances Serb Firepower near Bihac Deseret News, 4 December 1994
  33. ^ Radic, Aleksandar (2008). Историја - Крајина експрес. Арсенал magazine, nº 14, pp. 51-54. Minister of Defence of Serbia, 15 February 2008 (in Serbian)
  34. ^ "Panoramio is no longer available".
  35. ^ Hrvatski oklopni voz (in Serbian)
  36. ^, Редакция. "Ополченцы соорудили бронепоезд для защиты от украинских силовиков".
  37. ^ First World War - Willmott, H.P.; Dorling Kindersley, 2003, Page 231.
  38. ^ Московские трамваи в боях за Советскую власть (in Russian)
  39. ^ Мы мирные люди, но наш бронепоезд стоит на трамвайном пути! (in Russian)
  40. ^ The Czech and Slovak Republics (excerpt from Google Books) - Humphreys, Rob, Rough Guide, 2002, ISBN 1-85828-904-1, Page 482

Further reading

  • Zaloga, Steven J; Bryan, Tony (2008). Armored Trains. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-242-4.

External links

Armenian Railways Museum

The Armenian Railways Museum (Armenian: Հայաստանի երկաթուղու թանգարան) is a railway museum in Yerevan, Armenia.

On 31 July 2009, the South Caucasus Railway (SCR) Company, a rail operator in Armenia, owned by Russian Railways, opened the Railway Museum in Yerevan in the building of Yerevan railway station. According to Chief Engineer Sergey Harutyunyan, was timed to coincide with the International Railway Day, celebrated on 2 August 2009.The history of the Armenian railway is presented in the museum, from 1896 to the present. There are 10 panels in the museum, each of which represents a certain period of railroad history. The exhibition includes copies of historical documents on the construction of railway crossings in Armenia, photographs of old trains, models of old and modern trains, and railroad equipment. Some of the exhibits are gifts from the Russian Railways. Several larger objects are in a garden accessed from the museum. A 1930's locomotive, number 3ա705-46, and a carriage (the latter formerly housing exhibits on the construction of the Caucasus railway system) stand in the adjacent station. During the Soviet era, the museum did not function - only a small exposition was represented in the carriage standing on the tracks.Museum is open to the public from Monday to Friday (10:00-17:00). The exhibits are labelled in Armenian and Russian.

Armoured Train 14-69

Armoured Train 14–69 (Russian: Бронепоезд 14–69, translit. Bronepoezd 14–69) is a 1927 Soviet play by Vsevolod Ivanov. Based on his 1922 novel of the same name, it was the first play that he wrote and remains his most important. In creating his adaptation, Ivanov transformed the passive protagonist of his novel into an active exponent of proletarian ideals; the play charts his journey from political indifference to Bolshevik heroism. Set in Eastern Siberia during the Civil War, it dramatises the capture of ammunition from a counter-revolutionary armoured train by a group of partisans led by a peasant farmer, Nikolai Vershinin. It is a four-act play in eight scenes that features almost 50 characters; crowd scenes form a prominent part of its episodic dramatic structure. Near the end of the play a Chinese revolutionary, Hsing Ping-wu, lies down on the railway tracks to force the armoured train to stop.

Bartosz Głowacki (armoured train)

Armoured Train Bartosz Glowacki, also called Armoured Train number 55 or PP 55 was a Polish Army Armoured train, used during the Polish-Soviet War and the Polish September Campaign. On 11 September 1939, it was assigned to the Operational Group Wyszkow and was directed to the fortress of Brześć nad Bugiem, where it fought German units of the SS-Verfügungstruppe. After withdrawal southwards, to Lwów, it helped some of the Polish units cross the German lines, but needed to be recovered after the artillery and anti--tank guns of the 1st Mountain Division (Wehrmacht) heavily damaged it. The train might have been finished off by the Luftwaffe, since it was never recovered. Other sources indicate that it might've been hit by artillery and captured by the Red Army along with the Śmiały (PP 53) when Lwów fell.

Battle of Modlin

The Battle of Modlin was a battle that took place during the 1939 German invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War. Modlin Fortress was initially the headquarters of the Modlin Army until its retreat eastwards. From 13 September to 29 September 1939 it served as a defensive citadel for Polish forces under the command of General Wiktor Thommée against assaulting German units. This fighting was closely linked with the strategic situation of the Battle of Warsaw.

The Polish forces defending the fortress included the armoured train Śmierć ("death") and the Modlin anti-aircraft battery, which was credited with shooting down more Luftwaffe planes than any other in the entire September campaign.

Fortress Modlin capitulated on 29 September, one of the last to lay down its arms in the campaign, surrendering 24,000 troops. Several days earlier, Rochus Misch attempted to negotiate the surrender of the fortress despite being wounded, an act for which he was awarded the Iron Cross.Soldiers of the Panzer Division Kempf committed the Massacre in Zakroczym on 28 September 1939.

Danuta (armoured train)

The Danuta, also called armoured train number 11 was a Polish armoured train used by the Polish army during the German invasion of Poland in September 1939.

GNR Class N1

The Great Northern Railway (GNR) Class N1 is an 0-6-2T side tank steam locomotive designed by Henry Ivatt and introduced in 1906. They were all withdrawn from service between 1947 and 1959. None has survived.

The majority of the class were fitted with condensing apparatus and worked in the London area, from King's Cross and Hornsey Depots on empty coach trains and on cross-London exchange freight trains.

In 1914 the Crewe works built an armoured train which used a Class N1 engine. The engine was covered by 14mm steel plate, and featured observation apertures to the front and side, closed by sliding steel shutters.

General Sosnkowski (armoured train)

The Generał Sosnkowski was a Polish armoured train that was developed during the Second Polish Republic.

The PP 13 Generał Sosnkowski was built in 1920, at the Cegielski plant in Poznań, and named after Kazimierz Sosnkowski. Though modernized in the 1930s, its outward appearance retained its earlier characteristics. It saw action during the Polish-Bolshevik War and the Invasion of Poland (1939).

Gromobój (armoured train)

Gromobój was a Polish improvised armoured train from the period of the Polish-Ukrainian war (1918-1919). The train took part in the fighting in the area of the rail junction in Zagórz. The train's armour was constructed from walls of brick, between which was river gravel. The locomotive used in the train was an ex-Austro-Hungarian kkStB Class 229.

Groźny (armoured train)

The armoured train Groźny (Polish for Dangerous) also known as PP 54 and Armoured Train number 54 was an armoured train of the Polish Army that saw action during German Invasion of Poland in September 1939 and later in German service with portions of it seeing service on the Eastern Front and the occupation of France. It was originally captured sometime between 1919-1920 from the Soviet Union in the Polish-Soviet War.

List of armoured fighting vehicles used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War

This is a list of armour used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The present list also includes other military armoured vehicles in use at the time (armoured personnel carriers, armoured cars, armoured trains, etc.).

Renault FT

Renault NC27

Type 89 Medium Tanks

Type 92 Heavy Armoured Car Jyu-Sokosha - tankette

Type 94 tankette

Type 95 "Ha-Go" Light Tank

Type 97 "Te-Ke" Tankette

Type 97 "Chi-Ha" Medium Tank

Type 97-Kai "Shinhoto Chi-Ha" Medium Tank

Sōkō Sagyō Ki ("SS-Ki") armored engineer vehicles

Panzerkampfwagen I - German tank, one captured from Chinese forces

Vickers Crossley Armoured Car

Wolseley Armoured Car

Type 93 Armoured Car a/k/a Type 2593 Hokoku and Type 93 Kokusanor

Type 91 Armored Railroad Car "So-Mo"

Type 95 Armored Railroad Car "So-Ki"

Type 1 "Ho-Ki" Armored Personnel Carrier

20 mm AA Machine Cannon Carrier

Improvised Armoured Train

Special Armoured Train

Type 94 Armoured Train

Type 95 Crane Vehicle "Ri-Ki"

Armored Recovery Vehicle "Se-Ri"

Type 100 Observation Vehicle "Te-Re"

Type 94 Disinfecting Vehicle

Type 94 Gas Scattering Vehicle

List of armoured trains

This is a list of armoured trains of different countries.

Piłsudczyk (armoured train)

Piłsudczyk (Polish pronunciation: [piwˈsutt͡ʂɨk], "Piłsudskiite") was a Polish armoured train of the early 20th century. It was among the first armoured trains serving the Polish Army and took part in the Polish-Ukrainian War of 1918-1919, the subsequent Polish-Soviet War and the Silesian Uprisings. Kept in reserve during the inter-war years, it was mobilised again in 1939 to be used during the Nazi-Soviet Invasion of Poland. "Piłsudczyk" was destroyed by its crew on 20 September 1939 at the train station at Mrozy.

In early November 1918, during the final collapse of Austria-Hungary, Polish troops captured an intact Austro-Hungarian train at the station in Prokocim near Kraków. It consisted of two modern artillery cars, two infantry cars and one assault car. The train was quickly split into two distinct armoured trains: "Piłsudczyk", named in honour of the Polish Commander-in-Chief Józef Piłsudski, and Śmiały. Both were then accepted into the new Polish Army and took part in the Battle of Lwów, where they were crucial in lifting the Ukrainian siege of the city.

In 1921 the crew of the train took part in the 3rd Silesian Uprising, among others in the battle of Kędzierzyn, where casualties reached 20% of the crew. After the war the train was refurbished and attached to the armoured train school, and then in 1927 to the Niepołomice-based 2nd Armoured Train Squadron. Because the train was used for the training of recruits, it was kept in a "ready and fighting" condition at all times. By 1939 it was upgraded and extended to include as follows:

armoured locomotive (hull number 377.402)

assault car with radio

2 artillery cars

2 platforms"Piłsudczyk" was armed with two ex-Russian armata wz. 02/26 guns, two ex-Austro-Hungarian 100mm Haubica wz. 1914/1919 howitzers and 19 heavy machine guns, and was reinforced with a TK-3 tankette and a Renault FT tank (both refitted as draisines).Mobilised on 25 August 1939 in preparation for invasion by Nazi Germany, the train was additionally refitted with another unarmoured engine, and then attached for armed operations, to the Army Łódź, to reinforce the 30th Infantry Division in the area of Działoszyn. Following the outbreak of World War II the train fended off numerous attacks by German aviation but the destruction of Poland's rail lines prevented the train from reaching the front line. It was then withdrawn to Widawa and then to Łask, where it was attached to the 28th Infantry Division. The train was then used for patrolling the rails in the vicinity of Łódź, being able to fend off many more air attacks. On 6 September it withdrew towards Warsaw with a special mission of escorting a transport of gold deposits from the banks of Poznań. It reached the capital on September 8.

Attached to the Wyszków Operational Group, the train operated near Legionowo, Tłuszcz, Rembertów, Mińsk Mazowiecki and Siedlce. As the German motorised units outflanked the Polish defenders and captured both Mińsk and Siedlce, the train was caught in the resulting traffic jam in a large operational "cauldron" to the east of Warsaw. Encircled by the Germans in the same "cauldron" were the supply train of Generał Sosnkowski, the 17th Railway Company and 17 different evacuation trains. An ad-hoc battle group was formed by the crews of the trains and commanded by Col. Mikołaj Prus-Więckowski, who defended the area. Unable to escape encirclement, the train patrolled the Sosnowe-Mrozy line, where it defeated numerous German attacks. However, in a skirmish on 17 September one of the artillery cars was knocked out and in the evening had to leave the town of Mrozy. The following day the crew retook the town from the Germans, but in a reverse on 19 September the assault car was lost too. Cut off from Polish lines, by 20 September the train had only one gun and 3 machine guns operational, and no more than 6 shells for the single artillery piece. The train had to be abandoned at Mrozy and was destroyed by its crew so as not to fall into German or Soviet hands. Later, armoured train was captured by Soviet NKVD troops, repaired, and put in service as NKVD armoured train №77

The crew of "Piłsudczyk" tried unsuccessfully to reach Warsaw on foot, but joined the Independent Operational Group Polesie instead, and fought-on against the Germans and Soviets until the battle of Kock, at the end of the Polish defensive war of 1939.

Polish armoured train units in Britain

Twelve Polish armoured trains in Britain were manned during World War II, from October 1940 until 1942, by the Polish Armed Forces in the West. They were assigned to patrol the British railways in 1940. They saw no combat, and were disbanded in England by July 1943 (November 1944 in Scotland).

The trains were built in the Derby Carriage and Wagon Works and the LNER works at Stratford in London. They patrolled the British coast from Cornwall up to the Moray Firth in Scotland. These included the only miniature railway armoured train ever created on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.The armoured trains were formed in July 1940 as part of the preparations to face a German invasion; these were initially armed with QF 6 pounder 6 cwt Hotchkiss guns and six Bren Guns, by Royal Engineer crews and manned by Royal Armoured Corps troops.

The Polish Armoured Train battalions were founded on 12 October 1940. In late 1940 preparations began to hand the trains over to the Polish Army and expand the rolling stock used.

Poznańczyk (armoured train)

Poznańczyk was a Polish armoured train which participated in the Greater Poland Uprising, the Polish–Soviet War and in the Second World War.

Built in December 1918 in Warsaw, it was originally an improvised armoured train consisting of cargo cars reinforced with concrete and sandbags, and armed with numerous machine guns. The train took part in battles of the Greater Poland Uprising, notably the capture of Ostrów Wielkopolski and Krotoszyn. In 1919 it was modernised at Hipolit Cegielski Works and received identical cars to those previously built for Danuta armoured train.

In December 1919 it was modified to Russian gauge and took part in the Polish-Bolshevist War. During the Battle of Warsaw it supported the 1st Legions Infantry Division. It then proceeded to fight near Vilna as part of the 2nd Army. In 1921 it was again withdrawn to Cegielski Works, where it was modernised and equipped with better armament. Demobilised in 1924, it served as a reserve train for armoured train school.

Mobilised again in 1939, it was attached to Poznań Army and took part in heavy fights near Krotoszyn, along Warta River, and then further east. Unable to withdraw towards Warsaw and cut out from the Polish forces, the train's crew destroyed it and proceeded to fight on foot.

Russian locomotive class O

The Russian steam locomotive class O (from Russian: Основной) was an early type of Russian steam locomotives. Between 1890 and 1928, 9129 locomotives were built; hence it was the second most numerous class of locomotive in Russia, after E class, which was a unique number even on the international level.

Smok Kaszubski

Smok Kaszubski ("Kashubian Dragon") was an improvised Polish armoured train, which served in the Polish defenses during the German invasion in 1939. The train was part of the Land Coastal Defence.

The train was built in September 1939, at the initiative of Kapitan

marynarki Jerzy Błeszyński, by employees of the workshop of the naval port in Gdynia. For the construction of the steel plates, steel from the hulls of unfinished destroyers Orkan and Huragan was used. The first commander of the train was Kapitan Błeszyński. After his injury on 9 September 1939 in Wejherowo, command of the train was taken over by Porucznik

marynarki Florian Hubicki.

The operating personnel of the train was mostly formed by the Gdynian railways workers and sailors from the former company servicing the port.

Composition of the train:

- 1 × tank locomotive OKl27 armoured with steel plates

- 2 × armoured wagons for troops

- 2 × battle wagons


- 1 × Vickers 40mm AA gun, taken from ORP Mazur

- 1 × 47 mm gun for saluting, taken from ORP Bałtyk

- 11 × machine guns

- 30 × pistols from ORP Wicher

Type 94 Armoured Train

The Type 94 Armoured train was built in 1934 and used by the Imperial Japanese Army forces during World War II. It originally consisted of 8 cars and later added an additional car, for a total of 9. For armament, it had two Type 14 10cm AA Guns and two Type 88 75 mm AA guns. The armored train was part of the 1st Armoured Train Unit in Manchuria.

Wells and Walsingham Light Railway

The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway is a 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) gauge heritage railway in Norfolk, England running between the coastal town of Wells-next-the-Sea and the inland village of Walsingham. The railway occupies a four-mile section of the trackbed of the former Wymondham to Wells branch which was closed to passengers in stages from 1964 to 1969 as part of the Beeching cuts. Other parts of this line, further south, have also been preserved by the Mid-Norfolk Railway.

Despite its miniature dimensions, the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway is a "public railway", indicating that its operation is established by Act of Parliament. The original establishment of the preserved line was authorised by the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway Order 1982, the terms of which were altered under the subsequent Wells and Walsingham Light Railway (Amendment) Order 1994. Prior to 1982 the 15 in (381 mm) gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway had traded as "The World's smallest public railway", a phrase sometimes quoted by the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway since the 1982 Light Railway Order.

Śmiały (armoured train)

The armoured train Śmiały (Polish for Bold), sometimes PP 53 and officially Armoured Train number 53 was an armoured train of the Polish Army that saw significant action during the German Invasion of Poland in September 1939. The train in the end served under four flags—Austrian, Polish, Soviet, German—and fought in several wars from 1914 to 1945. Śmiały distinguished itself in the Battle of Mokra, after which it withdrew eastwards, taking part in the Battle of Brześć Litewski. After the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, the train left the western front via Kowel to Lwów, where it fought in the Battle of Lwów. On September 22, 1939, abandoned by its crew, it was seized by the Red Army.

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